'Open-minded' school planners test demand

By Simon Rocker, October 6, 2011

A group of parents is exploring the possibility of setting up an "open-minded traditional" Jewish free school in north London.

They have launched a survey to gauge interest in the idea of opening the school somewhere in Finchley, Whetstone or Woodside Park.

Matt Plen, director of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, is one of the parents. He said: "We want to take advantage of the government free school scheme to create something we feel doesn't exist. It would have all the benefits of cross-communal schools while taking a more traditional approach to Jewish education."

Although the parents involved were mostly from the New North London Synagogue, he stressed it was a private, and not a Masorti or NNLS initiative.

"We know that many parents find it difficult to get their child into the Jewish school of their choice."

Jewish free schools have opened in Mill Hill and Haringey. An Orthodox school is planned for Golders Green and a cross-communal free school is under consideration in south London.

To take part in the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/NewSchoolSurvey

Last updated: 2:38pm, October 6 2011